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Defence Series No. 101 - HMAS AUSTRALIA, Cruiser of the Kent Class, 9,870 tons

Date: 1939 - 1945
Overall: 88 x 140 mm
Medium: Photographic print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00028973
Place Manufactured:Victoria

User Terms

    This black and white photographic postcard shows HMAS AUSTRALIA (II) cruising just off land with smoke billowing from its funnels. Navy personnel are watching in the foreground. The postcard details the ships weight, speed, guns, torpedoes and aircraft at the base of the card.

    Produced by the Rose Stereograph Company in Armadale, Victoria, this postcard is number 101 in a series of cards featuring Royal Australian Navy ships.
    SignificanceThis postcard is a record of HMAS AUSTRALIA (II) which holds a significant place in Australian history having served in the Royal Australian Navy over four decades.
    HistoryHMAS AUSTRALIA (II) was a County class heavy cruiser built by John Brown & Co Ltd of Clydebank, Scotland and launched in March 1927. AUSTRALIA was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 24 April 1928, and four months later departed Portsmouth arriving in Sydney on 23 October. The vessel spent six years with the Australia Station, and in December 1934 sailed for England. AUSTRALIA served with the British forces until July 1936, and returned to Australia arriving in Sydney on 11 August 1936. The ship remained in Australian waters, with the exception of cruises to New Zealand and New Guinea between April and July 1937. On 24 April 1938, AUSTRALIA was paid off into Reserve, but was recommissioned in August 1939.

    During World War II, the ship's complement increased from 679 to 848, and AUSTRALIA conducted operations in the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans acting as a convoy escort and protecting shipping routes. The ship also served in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Guadalcanal invasion, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and allied landings at Lingayen Gulf.

    On 21 October 1944 AUSTRALIA was damaged when a Japanese fighter plane collided with the ship, killing the commanding officer Captain E F V Dechaineux and several others. Whether or not it was a kamikaze attack has been the subject of much speculation. After attacks in January 1945, AUSTRALIA underwent a major refit in the UK and stayed there for the remainder of the war. AUSTRALIA returned to Sydney on 16 February 1946. The cruiser was mainly used as a training ship, and was eventually sold for scrap in January 1955 and broken up at Barrow-in-Furness, UK in 1956.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS AUSTRALIA (II)

    Assigned title: Defence Series No. 101 - HMAS AUSTRALIA, Cruiser of the Kent Class, 9,870 tons

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